The iPad 3 was officially unveiled last week by Apple’s Tim Cook at an event in San Francisco, and naturally, the entire world was tuned into the big announcement. Set to release this Friday, March 16, the third-generation iPad (or simply called “the new iPad”) is an evolution from the iPad 2 and features tons of new additions even though it still looks like last year’s version.

But what makes it an impressive upgrade is that it now has a better screen, processor, optics and networking capability. The new iPad features a new Retina display that has a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44 percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1 million pixels in the same 9.7-inch space as its predecessor (that’s four times the number included in the iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV).

But what makes the new Retina display possible is the new and powerful Apple A5X chip that also makes everything you do on the new iPad very responsive and fast. There’s also a new 5-megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics, a backside illumination sensor, auto white balance and face detection for amazing still images. You can also record HD video in 1080p. The newest version is capable of ultrafast 4G LTE networks so that you can easily do everything at blazing-fast speeds. And now for the first time, the iPad can act as your personal hotspot if your carrier supports it, connecting up to five devices over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB. Pricing for the new iPad is: Wi-Fi $499/16GB, $599/32GB, $699/64GB; Wi-Fi + 4G/LTE $629/16GB, $729/32GB, $829/64GB. Good luck getting yours Friday!

Kristie Bertucci

Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.